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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old May 11 2013, 06:26 AM   #16
R. Star
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Re: Doctor Mora's influence on Odo.

Yeah, the Begotten was one of my favorite Odo episodes even with the silly Kira subplot. You really see his softer side in this one. Not to mention Quark's brief scenes were hilarious too, especially when he was "haggling" on the price of the changeling based on how hurt it was.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:38 PM   #17
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Re: Doctor Mora's influence on Odo.

Plus, it let Odo see things from Doctor Mora's perspective and realize Doctor Mora wasn't setting out to hurt him for the joy of hurting something. Doctor Mora literally had no idea the goo in the jar was a life form that would one day become Odo.

Sometimes, I think Odo antagonized Doctor Mora on purpose because he wanted the scientist to feel guilty and rotten about those experiments. Maybe it worked a little too well, judging by the yelling match in The Begotten. It's a great exchange that says a lot about their relationship.


ODO
You enjoyed watching me suffer.

MORA
Do you really believe that? How pathetic. If it weren't for me, you'd still be sitting on a shelf somewhere, in a beaker labeled "unknown sample."

ODO
If it weren't for me, you'd be a nobody -- Starfleet wouldn't hire you to judge a science fair.

MORA
I'm getting a little tired of standing around watching you. But I can't seem to pull myself away. I'm too curious to see what preposterous thing you'll try next! (re: the goo) Who knows, maybe after a few months, it'll get so tired of your incessant chatter it'll actually do something.

ODO
You'd love to get your hands on it, wouldn't you? You could sell tickets on the Promenade. (with a flourish) Doctor Mora's Chamber of Horrors -- open for business...
And later on...

ODO
I can't wait until I can actually talk to it. There's so much I want it to see, so much I want to share.

MORA
You'll get the chance sooner than you think. The changeling is developing far faster than you did.

Odo looks up sharply -- this seems like another jab from Mora, but this time, Mora backpedals.

MORA
I didn't mean that as a criticism. If anything, it's a compliment.

Odo looks at Mora, unsure what he's saying. Mora swallows back his pride, comes out with it.

MORA
I was wrong. Your approach to communicating with the changeling was sound. Don't you see? It was reaching out to you. It was curious about you. The first time you did anything even close to that was when you formed a tentacle to slap my hand away from the control panel.

ODO
I remember. I wanted you to stop zapping me.

The memory takes them both back, and despite the mixed feelings it brings back, they both find themselves smiling at it.

MORA
You've formed a connection with that changeling. (with regret) That's something I never managed to do with you.

ODO
(quickly) That's not true. (beat) I respected you.

MORA
You feared me.

Odo dismisses this impatiently --

ODO
You didn't know what I was. You were experimenting on what looked like a lump of organic residue. And that's what I'd still be if it weren't for you.

This last statement just tumbled out of Odo's mouth unbidden -- but there it is, and Mora knows it's as close as Odo can come to making the admission.

MORA
You don't know how much it means to me to hear you say that.

Odo looks away, uncomfortable with the emotion of the moment.

MORA
I'm sorry. I know that sort of talk makes you uncomfortable.

Mora smiles ruefully...

MORA
I suppose it's my fault, in a way. If I hadn't poked and prodded at you so much, you might have ended up with a less... forbidding disposition.

ODO
Something tells me that no matter what we do to that changeling, it's going to have a more pleasant disposition than mine. (a beat) It's just the way I am.
Source: http://ds9.trekcore.com/media/scripts/512.txt
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Old May 12 2013, 07:39 AM   #18
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Re: Doctor Mora's influence on Odo.

It very much comes off as a father and son who have become estranged trying to work out their problems.
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Old May 14 2013, 06:51 AM   #19
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Re: Doctor Mora's influence on Odo.

LONG POST AHEAD:

I like Doctor Mora as a character; he seemed to poke at a side of Odo we don't see with anybody else. I think, like it or not, in a way he IS Odo's father in the sense that he was part of his early life. It's just Odo didn't have a very happy childhood, and it took umpteen years for them to reconcile it.

When I watch The Alternate, I see Doctor Mora realizing Odo has "grown up" and has a life. He expresses surprise at this. In this episode, he starts out seeing Odo a bit like the specimen he was, but as the show goes on his view transforms to something much more paternal. I think the creature Odo mutated into when he bashed into the containment field towards the end of the ep was, on a small level, a manifestation of how he felt in the lab. And Doctor Mora saw it.

"I've done it to you again, haven't I, Odo? I made you a prisoner. Dear God, what have I done?"

I think my favorite scene in The Alternate is Doctor Mora cradling Odo in his arms after he un-mutates. And then, at the very end, where Odo covers Doctor Mora's hand with his. Like he's seeking his 'father's' affection.




Then we get to The Begotten, where we learn a lot more about Odo's early life in the lab and we stand witness to two stubborn people seeing the other through each other's eyes. (I hope that made sense!) But they have to butt heads so hard they see stars first! Doctor Mora thinks Odo is an ungrateful brat for not "appreciating" what he did for him, and Odo thinks Doctor Mora is a gigantic jerk for thinking he should be grateful for the misery he endured before he left the lab.

I think the key turning point in this episode happens right after that adorable moment where the baby Changeling tries to imitate Odo. They walk back into Odo's office and really open up to each other. This scene never fails to make me clutch at my heart for them. Doctor Mora admits he was wrong, that Odo's constant talking to the baby Changeling helped it reach out on its own and he expresses regret that he wasn't able to connect to Odo that way--and then he ruminates that maybe Odo wouldn't be such a grump if he hadn't poked and prodded him so much. And we have Odo admitting he respected Doctor Mora, saying Doctor Mora didn't know what he was and for all he knew he was experimenting on a lump of organic residue--which is what Odo would still be if Doctor Mora hadn't made him want to shape shift. The smile on Doctor Mora's face when Odo says that is just...



Then it comes down to the poor baby Changeling getting sick again. After Doctor Bashir and Doctor Mora try everything, it still becomes clear the baby won't make it. Odo is obviously stricken. Doctor Mora could have handed him the beaker and walked out, but he presses a hand to Odo's shoulder as he walks by, a gesture of clear sympathy. Because he KNOWS what Odo is going through.

It takes losing the baby Changeling for Odo to see the pain he caused Doctor Mora. I think on some level he knew, but not to the full extent.

Which then leads to their conversation at the end of the episode...

Odo: I think I finally understand how much I meant to you... and what you must've gone through when I left.

Doctor Mora: You had to find your own way in the world.

Odo: I should've included you in my life.

Doctor Mora: You still can.

I think the pivotal moment is Doctor Mora pulling Odo into his arms and hugging him. It mirrors The Alternate in a sense, because Doctor Mora took Odo into his arms in that episode too, but there was no return embrace. The way Odo just relaxes, drops his head onto his shoulder and reciprocates(albeit slightly awkwardly!) speaks volumes. Odo finally has the warmth he's sought from Doctor Mora, and Doctor Mora realizes he is being forgiven. He appears on the verge of happy tears when Odo returns the embrace after so many years of animosity.

The hug is the moment they accepted each other for who they are, and it's the gap between them closing. What a great way to visually show something so symbolic, eh?

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